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Broadening the scope of epidemiology in conflict-affected settings: opportunities for mental health prevention and promotion

  • W. A. Tol (a1), S. J. Rees (a2) and D. M. Silove (a2)

Abstract

This editorial proposes a shift in emphasis in the field of mental health epidemiology in conflict-affected settings. After a brief summary of the nature of contemporary armed conflicts, we consider the current and potential roles that epidemiology can play with regard to: (1) establishing the burden of mental disorders; (2) identifying risk and protective factors; and (3) intervention research. We advocate for improved methodological rigor; more attention to mixed methods approaches and multi-level longitudinal research; inclusion of the determinants of mental health beyond conflict-related violence; and consideration of a wider array of mental health outcomes. We particularly highlight the importance of expanding interest to epidemiological research that advances prevention and promotion interventions (e.g., in the early childhood period), in order to fill the gap between epidemiology and mental health practice in conflict-affected settings.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor W. A. Tol, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N Broadway, Baltimore, MD, 21205-1996, USA. Email: (wtol@jhsph.edu)

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Keywords

Broadening the scope of epidemiology in conflict-affected settings: opportunities for mental health prevention and promotion

  • W. A. Tol (a1), S. J. Rees (a2) and D. M. Silove (a2)

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